Shakira and JLo Made Zero Dollars Last Night. Here’s Why That’s OK

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Glitz and glam aside, Nuyorican queen Jennifer Lopez and Colombian-Lebanese star Shakira made a grand total of zero dollars from their Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday.

“They get paid for this, right?” a friend said at one point in the evening. “Of course,” I responded matter-of-factly. It turns out that’s not the case. So here I am, admitting my fault and doing the work. To each their own growth this week and, despite the fact that they didn’t get a hefty check, these two are going to feel the aftershock of Sunday night for quite some time.

Shaki and J.Lo’s 14.5 minute set included fragments from at least 10 songs, hundreds of dancers and multiple stage setups. It oozed confidence, Latino pride and, as such, absolutely did the most.

So yes, it’s true – they (like just about everyone who performed on that global stage before them, including Beyoncé and Lady Gaga) got paid zero dollars for the night’s performance. But, according to Forbes, the NFL “pays” them in union scale and production cost coverage. In other words, they get paid to spend (essentially) however much they please to make their express concert happen. Reader, it showed. From Shakira’s knee-high boots that have over 30,000 hand-placed crystals to Jennifer Lopez’s bedazzled, silver Versace unitard, the girls went all out.

Plus, history shows the night is extremely lucrative in other ways. In 2017, Lady Gaga’s album sales jumped 1,980% after her halftime performance. Justin Timberlake saw a 214% spike in Spotify streams after his 2018 performance, and Maroon 5 reportedly saw a 434% increase in sales after his bland show. The night leads to partnerships, spikes in album and tour sales, and more. J. Lo, for example, was tapped for a celebrity-filled Hard Rock Cafe commercial that surely pulled in some cash.

Yet, increased international recognition and virtually free publicity is likely the most significant incentive for taking the job. Although Super Bowl viewership has steadily declined in recent years, the night still rakes in about 100 million viewers from around the world. Their guests of honor, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, seemed to have gotten the memo. The two gents used the opportunity to make announcements of their own – Balvin wore his Jordan x Colores collaboration and Benito confirmed his album is dropping this month.

Shakira and J.Lo both gained at least 2 million followers in the 12 hours following Sunday’s show. Both of their names spiked on google search immediately after the performance, as well. Shaki wisely included early 2000s hits in her potpourri, leading to a 3,500% spike in search for “Shakira Shakira lyrics,” according to Google Trends. J.Lo, on the other hand, left folks at home wondering when they can see her in all her splendor without a screen between them. “JLo tour 2020” saw a 2,450% spike in search.

It brings me great joy and sadness to think there are people getting to know Shakira’s Dónde Están Los Ladrones, Laundry Service, general pre “Me Gusta” era self as we speak.